Application volume off 2.5% for 2008
Braintree, MA. � (January 14, 2009) North American application activity for individually underwritten life insurance declined -8.9% in December, year-over-year according to the MIB Life Indexsm. Led by a -4.3% decline in overall fourth quarter activity, 2008 year-to-date application activity was off -2.5% as compared to last year. Those applying for individual life insurance ages 60+ were in the only growth demographic, up +4.3% YTD as compared to 2007.
U.S. application activity was off sharply in December, down -9.3% year-over-year, all ages combined. A fourth quarter decline of -4.5% contributed to 2008�s -2.9% drop in annual application activity versus 2007; the smallest annual YTD decline since 2004. Ages 60+ was the only growth spot up +5.2% YTD with losses in the 0-44 and 45-59 age groups, off -4.9% and -1.9% YTD, respectively as compared to 2007. Showing year-over-year growth since April 2007, the proportion of applications ages 60+ as a percent of the total MIB Life Index has increased from 8.4% (2001) to 12.2% (2008). The economic downturn was most apparent from December�s drop in activity ages 0-44, off -12.8% year-over-year — the largest decline in any age group in either country.
Canadian application activity was off -5.6% in December year-over-year, all ages combined. Year-to-date, 2008 activity was up slightly at +0.7% when compared against 2007.
In a reversal of U.S. YTD results, Canada�s 0-44 and 45-59 finished up +1.3% and +0.5%, respectively with ages 60+ off -2.8% as compared to 2007. While activity in the 0-44 age group is shrinking in the U.S., Canada�s +1.3% 2008 YTD growth represents this groups largest year-over-year percent increase since 2002. After posting solid gains in the first two months of the year, applications in the 0-44 and 45-59 age groups moderated; ages 60+ posted declining activity in nine of the last twelve months. The -13.8% decline in activity (all ages combined) from November to December is in-line with the seasonal norms for this time period.
|Monthly Percent Change vs. 2007|
|Yearly Change by Age Group
2008 vs. 2007
|0 – 44||-4.9%||+1.3%||-4.1%|
|45 – 59||-1.9%||+0.5%||-1.6%|
|Monthly Percent Change vs. Previous Month|
About the MIB Life Index
The MIB Life Index is the life insurance industry’s timeliest measure of application activity across the U.S. Released to the media each month, the Index is based on the number of searches life member company underwriters perform on the MIB Checking Service database. Since the vast majority of individually underwritten life premium dollars in North America include an MIB search as a routine underwriting requirement, the MIB Life Index provides a reasonable means to estimate new business activity.
MIB is the life and health insurance industry’s most trusted resource for risk information and analytical services. Owned by the industry it has served for more than a century, MIB is uniquely positioned to aggregate industry insights in order to develop products and services for our members that improve their risk management decisions. MIB, Inc. and MIB Solutions, Inc. are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the MIB Group, Inc. Visit www.mib.com.